According to a new report, people that are obese or overweight have a much higher chance of developing asthma than those of a healthy weight. The risk is said to be as much as 50 percent higher.
The American of the study stated that the number of asthma sufferers could be significantly reduced by weight loss. Dr. E. Rand Sutherland who is part of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver Colorada wrote the study. Dr. Sutherland said, “Overweight and obesity significantly increases the risk of developing asthma. If you can substantially reduced the amount of overweight or obese people, you might also get a reduction in the number of new cases of asthma.”
The new research was just published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine’s April issue. It is thought that as many as 250,000 fewer cases of asthma would occur each year in the United States if the amount of overweight and obese people could be reduced significantly. The research found that there are 1.5 asthma cases for people overweight or obese for every one person that has a healthy weight.
The standards used by the study to define healthy weight and overweight and obese were based on a body mass index. A healthy weight was a body mass index of lower than 25. A body mass index of 25 to 30 was considered to be overweight and a body mass index over 30 was considered obese. The study by US researchers looked the health of more than 330,000 adults.
It is already known that obesity can lead to a number of health problems. The most established are a significant increase in the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. It is now thought that the risk of developing asthma should be seriously considered as a major potential health problem for overweight or obese people.
However, the researchers could not find the exact cause of the increased chance of developing asthma for obese or overweight people. It is known that being obese can cause the lung to have problems functioning. For example the lung could reduce in volume and the need for more oxygen could increase. However, the researchers thought that these problems would not cause asthma on their own.
Asthma is a health problem that affects a person’s ability to breath properly. The small tubes that carry air from the lungs are affected. When asthma is triggered muscles that surround these small tubes constrict making it harder for the air to move from the lungs. As a result of this occurrence the tubes of the lungs can become irritated causing swelling and phlegm production. This creates the symptoms of asthma which include tightness in the chest, difficulty catching breath and wheezing.